Guria Uprising of 1905

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Guria Uprising of 1905

 

a peasant disturbance in Guria (Ozurgeti District, Kutaisi Province) during the Revolution of 1905–07 in Russia.

In late 1904 and early 1905 in Guria, under the leadership of the Guria Committee of Rural Workers, which was linked with the Batumi and Caucasian union committees of the RSDLP, revolutionary peasant committees and Red Hundreds (armed peasant detachments) began to appear. These committees would seize power locally and take over the lands and equipment of the pomeshchiki (fief holders). The tsarist authorities entered into negotiations with the insurgents, whose demands included the confiscation of the land of the pomeshchiki and its transfer to the peasants without compensation; the return to the peasants of redemption payments; freedom of speech, the press, and association; the right to strike; amnesty for political prisoners; the election of judges, who were to be responsible to the people; the separation of church and state and the exclusion of the church from the schools; and free universal and compulsory education in the native language, with compulsory teaching of Russian as the state language.

The negotiations did not achieve their goal. In March a punitive detachment under General Alikhanov-Avarskii entered Guria, but fearing the revolutionary mood among the troops, the authorities were soon forced to withdraw the detachment. The Guria Committee of the RSDLP set up a military revolutionary headquarters to lead the uprising. The peasants took over the post and telegraph offices, cut the railroad lines, and disarmed the police. In December 1905 the insurgents took over the city of Ozurgeti, established the rule of the people, and created a militia. The Red detachments established defenses in the nearby railroad stations and bridges. On Jan. 10, 1906, the punitive expedition commanded by Colonel Krylov entered Guria, and the insurrection was savagely suppressed.

REFERENCE

Tsertsvadze, M. V. “Krest’ianskoe revoliutsionnoe dvizhenie v Gurii v 1905 g.” Voprosy istorii, 1955, no. 12.

G. M. DERENKOVSKII

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.